Endometriosis: Communicating with your partner, knowing the right position, other ways that can help manage pain during sex
According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, knowing where the endometriosis is located and how advanced it is can help you determine how to have pain-free sex
Endometriosis is extremely painful and this is a fact every woman who suffers from this chronic condition knows just too well. And while chronic pelvic pain associated with endometriosis is well known now, not many know that dyspareunia — or pain during sex — is also a common occurrence.
Research published in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care in 2007 studied women between the ages of 19 and 44 years with endometriosis and found that dyspareunia associated with their condition has an immense impact on the quality of their life. A large portion of the women limited their sexual activity, while a minority ceased it altogether. This, in turn, lowered their self-esteem and had a negative impact on their sexual relationships.
Knowledge is the first step to avoid pain
Managing the pain associated with sex when you have endometriosis is very important. The first step you need to take is to understand your diagnosis and to refuse to just tolerate pain. According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, knowing where the endometriosis is located and how advanced it is can help you determine how to have pain-free sex.
It’s equally important to understand that tolerating deep, stabbing and continuous types of pain during sex — and even risking bleeding after it — for the sake of intimacy is not necessary. Instead, a discussion with your partner and getting his support might help you manage your situation better. Once you’re done with these two steps, try the following tips to prevent endometriosis pain during and after sex.
1. Choose the right position
Deep penetration causes more pain, so positions that involve shallow penetration should be more comfortable. Try spooning, raised hips, woman-on-top and modified doggie style sex. Missionary position tends to be extremely painful for most women with endometriosis because of the way the uterus is tilted and how deep the penetration is.
2. Plan sex according to your cycle
Endometriosis causes constant pain for most women, but this pain is excruciating during ovulation and your periods. Keep a track of your monthly cycle and find out the least painful times to engage in sexual activity.
3. Lubes and pain killers
Consult your doctor about using a good lube for sex, preferably a water-based or silicone-based one. You can also discuss over-the-counter pain medications that you can take an hour or so before sex to manage the pain better.
4. Communicate properly
Deep, quick thrusts can hurt a woman with endometriosis just as much as deep penetration can. Talk to your partner before and during sex and communicate clearly what is comfortable and what is not. Take it slow, steady and switch positions midway through to make sex both pain-free and enjoyable.
5. Explore intimacy beyond sex
Yes, sex is fun, but it’s not the only way to find pleasure. Foreplay, massages, kissing, mutual masturbation and oral sex can all be painless alternatives to penetrative sex. These can be equally satisfying if you and your partner are willing to accommodate and committed to being physically intimate despite endometriosis.
For more information, read our article on Endometriosis: Symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention.
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